About pearls. History

«The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
seeking beautiful pearls,
who, when he had found one pearl of great price,
went and sold all that he had and bought it»
  The Gospel of Matthew 13, 45-46

Gifts with pearls - necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and pendants – were highly appreciated in ancient times.
The dream of beauty and striving for it through the possession of pearl passes through our history over 5000 years. It is indisputable that Pearl - the first gemstone known to people.

Refined culture of old Chinese civilizations describes pearl as moonlight, petrified in water. "No, these ones are tears the sea nymphs”, - disagree with her finders of perfection - the ancient Greeks. According to their version, the goddess of love Aphrodite (Rom. Venus), who was born from sea foam, was dressed in pearls.

The fact that pearl is not only a creation of nature, but valuable (from material point of view) gift worthy of the mighty rulers, have begun to recognize in ancient China. Legendary emperor Yuyu, who reigned 42 centuries ago, was given pearls of extraordinary size and beauty. The event was so significant that information about it remained from 2500 BC.
Romans also contributed to the development of the cult of pearls and coming pearl’ rush. Pearl jewelleries were worthwhile incredibly expensive. Once the Roman Emperor organized military company, selling one of the pearl ornaments of his mother.
Pearl saturnalia reached such proportions that Romans started to ban such a luxury. As well as the pearls in ancient Rome were the symbol of high status, stated the image of wealth and prestige, Julius Caesar introduced a special arrangement. He gave the privilege of wearing pearls for only persons holding high public positions, and under a certain age.

The ancient historian Plinius told another episode of "pearl life” of the rulers of those years. Cleopatra – the last Queen of Egypt – organized a banquet in honour of Marcus Antonius. Rivalry in wealth between the two great states, represented by that man and woman turned into dispute. Cleopatra at the same time asserted that she prepared the most expensive meal ever to serve. Marcus Antonius secretly celebrated his victory in the dispute, since at the table before Cleopatra there was only a cup of sour wine.
Further course of events was unpredictable. Cleopatra took off one of the pearl earrings that cost in the words of Plinius the several thousand pounds of gold, and threw it into the cup. Pearl dissolved in acetic acid, and Cleopatra sip the contents of the bowl, thereby winning the dispute. The plot, of course, is just as exciting as it is implausible: to our fortune, pearls are not so "gentle" rocks to dissolve in vinegar.

Till 15th century, the way of diamonds filing was not invented, and pearls were the most expensive stones. Pearl is the only one, unique precious stone which used (and use nowadays) without any additional refinement. And the pearl is only stone which incarnates femininity and tenderness.

In the mid-century, it was not so much worn as holding and admiring them. In the medieval East three precious stone competed each other - ruby, emerald and pearl. Pearl became extremely popular on Renaissance. Any secular ceremony turned into a parade of pearl jewelleries. Pearl necklaces were presented in almost every women portrait at that time...

History tells us about outstanding gems. One of them - La Peregrina (translated from Spanish - "Pilgrim") was a perfect pear-shaped and bright white in colour, and weighed 50.95 carats (10.19 grams). La Peregrina was found off the coast of Panama in 1579. The slave who find it was emancipated, his master was granted as Major of Panama. King Philip II of Spain, who got
La Peregrina, presented it to his bride, Queen Mary Tudor, Queen of England, in 1554. Gem later went on to Queen Margaret, Queen Of Netherlands Hortensia, wife of Joseph Bonaparte, than Duke of Abercorn bought it from the son of French Emperor Napoleon III.
At the end XIX La Peregrina was in Dutches Yusopov property. After Russian revolution this family emigrated in Paris, and the pearl was sold for peanuts, and disappeared from view for half a century ...
In 1969, La Peregrina was purchased for a very modest (by today's standards) sum of 37,000 USD by a famous actor Richard Burton in a gift to the birthday of his equally famous wife Elizabeth Taylor. La Peregrina on a diamond, ruby, and cultured pearl necklace by Cartier was sold for a record $11.8 million at Christie's Dec. 2011.

In twenties of last century pearls prompted a new wave of popularity as evidenced in the rich new American households, who made his fortune during the industrial revolution. Morgans, Vanderbilts, Carnegies stressed with pearl jewellery not only their wealth, but also a high social status. Princess Alexandra, the daughter of Queen Victoria of Great Britain suddenly found a strong influence of style of her jewelleries on jewels of rich Americans, trying to look like a princess. Pearl - a symbol of purity, whiteness, height, wealth, health, speech, religion, secret knowledge , initiation; connection of fire and water; attribute of Christ and the Blessed Virgin; approval of family happiness. In the symbolism of the pearl of the East is the concept of "child", "wife", "favourite". Pearl symbolizes science, the Quran, wealth, holiness, immortality, thanks to its firmness and immutability. Pearl is famous not only for its glamour reputation. In ancient times one believed that pearls helped to remove a cataract or get rid of sore eyes moist. It strengthened the teeth and makes them shine.

There was a belief that if you keep the pearls in his mouth, it had a beneficial effect on the blood and soothes heartache. When haemoptysis promoted blood clotting, it helped to pregnant women to make the foetus successfully.

"Oyster which pregnant with pearl  - is a woman wearing a foetus in her womb," - said the ancient Chinese. Water-related and life-giving forces, pearl was considered a tonic and an aphrodisiac. Also, it’s considered as the cure for the madness and melancholy, the two diseases’ subservient to moon. Pearl promoted longevity, makes clear sight, protects against the evil eye, helps to predict the future. Ring with pearls guarded from thieves and dishonest transactions.
Pearls are also called "the way" in the kingdom of heaven - so the name "Margarita", which means: "pearl" wore many holy virgins and martyrs to the glory of Christianity.

Pearls, despite of association with tears, are generally considered as a symbol of virtue and - as the medieval scholar Lonitserus told - "reinforces the vital spirit that comes from the heart." According to legend, pearls promote longevity, prosperity and welfare and protects against the infidels of friends. It was believed that pearls gives discretion to the owner, so no one and never cheat.